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Claiming for loss of light

Right of light is a complex area of law.  There are several ways in which one can acquire them.   Typically they will be expressly granted in a deed or impled where you can show a long period of use.

A client of ours came in recently to ask if they could make a claim for loss of light.  They were concerned that a block of 55 flats was being built across the road from the house that they owned.  Previously there was a school playground on this land.  The new flats were going to be 70 ft away from the house.

To ascertain whether one has an express right of light it is necessary to check the original deeds, or title documents n the Land Registry website.  A lawyer can review these.  To determine if the land has an impled right of light the length of occupation with uninterrupted light is a key factor as it the issue of whether windows have been altered or moved.  It is necessary to show that you have enjoyed that light for over 20 years.

Assuming you have a right to light then whether its enforceable will depend on the amount of light being lost.  It is necessary to compare the percentage or light that will come through the windows on completion of the block of flats to the light enjoyed now.  A right of light surveyor can produce a report analysing a claim.  Also it is necessary to check on the council webiste to see if the developer has considered right of light.

If the interference is great then it will be necessary for a court injuction to halt or reduce works. Once our client’s rights are established backed a surveyor’s report the developer might agree to offer compensation. It is then necessary to ensure that any agreement is set down in a deed and record on the Land Registry.